• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Photo of Queen smiling at RAF Benson won place in special exhibition


Sep 8, 2022

The Oxford Mail photo showing the Queen smiling on her visit to RAF Benson was one of 60 images chronicling Her Majesty’s 60 years as monarch in 2012.

It was one of the pictures which went on show at an exhibition at Windsor Castle, capture the sovereign at relaxed family gatherings, exotic locations around the world and formal public events.

The photo, taken by former staff photographer John Lawrence, shows the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the helicopter base near Wallingford on June 12, 1989.

Read again: A look back at the Queen's visits to Oxfordshire

The base, celebrating its 50th anniversary, was selected as the venue for the presentation of the Colour to the Royal Auxiliary Air Force by the Queen, the Air Commodore-in-Chief.

RAF Benson spokesman Flt Lt Barry Robinson said at the time: “It’s a great honour to be associated with the Queen and represented in this way at the exhibition.”

In 1946 the base became the home of royal flying and the Queen’s Flight was located there until 1995, when it moved to RAF Northolt.

The Queen played her part in inspecting various military parades in the county over the years.

Read again: Book of Condolence for the Queen

She inspected troops at St George’s Barracks, Bicester, in 1965 and at RAF Abingdon in 1968 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

She also visited RAF Brize Norton in 1971 and inspected a Guard of Honour formed by the RAF Regiment.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF